Two blocks of Fountain Street evacuated for gas line rupture

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Cape Girardeau Fire Department barricaded off two blocks of North Fountain Street Monday night following a gas line rupture. (Matt Sanders)

A two-block area of North Fountain Street was evacuated for nearly three hours Monday night after a gas line ruptured.

A call of a natural gas odor came in at 7:35 p.m., according to Steve Niswonger, battalion chief with the Cape Girardeau Fire Department. Residents along North Fountain Street from Mill to Mason streets were asked to leave their homes while AmerenUE crews were called in to fix the leak, Niswonger said. The leak occurred when a contractor working at the site of a demolished home at the corner of Fountain and Pearl streets ruptured a two-inch plastic gas line with a backhoe.

Many residents waited outside the barricaded area while crews worked to fix the leak. Sharon and Marvin Scott waited with their neighbor Cordie Jones, hoping to return home. They had little information as to the reason for the evacuation.

"One of my neighbors called me while I was at the store, so I came down here to check it out," Sharon Scott said as she waited outside the cordoned-off area.

By 10:30 p.m., AmerenUE crews had fixed the leak and people were starting to stream back into the area.

Niswonger said the fire department had no effective way to tell everyone who had evacuated that it was clear to return, but hoped that people who lived in the area would receive word from neighbors and friends, or see that the barricades keeping traffic off Fountain Street had been removed.

Pertinent address:

North Fountain Street, Cape Girardeau, MO

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